NHL drops the gloves over sports-betting bill, urges Senate to ice legislation

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

OTTAWA - The National Hockey League is dropping its gloves to fight proposed legislation that would make it legal to bet on the outcome of a single game.

A written submission from the league urges the Senate not to pass Bill C-290, saying allowing single-game betting could lead people to think NHL games are not completely honest athletic endeavours.

The legislation would repeal the section of the Criminal Code that prohibits betting on a single race, fight, sporting event or athletic contest — in effect, allowing each province to decide whether to allow single-game betting.

Currently, the provinces allow "parlay betting," or wagering on multiple outcomes on a single ticket, such as ProLine in Ontario.

The NHL joins Major League Baseball and the NBA in opposing the bill.

The NHL raised the spectre of match fixing as it called single-game betting "perhaps the greatest threat to the integrity of our games."

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was scheduled to appear before a Senate committee today, but the ongoing labour talks and poor weather in New York kept him away from Parliament Hill.

MPs passed Bill C-290 and the legislation just needs to pass a third and final reading in the Senate to become law.